The World Health Organization has advised that Ivermectin should be used to treat COVID-19 within clinical trials only.
Ivermectin is a broad-spectrum antiparasitic agent, included in the WHO essential medicines list for several parasitic diseases. It is used in the treatment of onchocerciasis (river blindness), strongyloidiasis, and other diseases caused by soil-transmitted helminthiasis. Ivermectin is also authorized for veterinary use for a wide range of animal species for internal and external parasites.
According to WHO, the current evidence on the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 is inconclusive. Until more data is available, WHO recommends that the drug only be used within clinical trials.
A guideline development group was convened in response to the increased international attention on Ivermectin as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
“This group is an independent, international panel of experts, which includes clinical care experts in multiple specialties and also includes an ethicist and patient-partners,” WHO said.
The group reviewed pooled data from 16 randomized controlled trials – total enrolled 2 407 – including both inpatients and outpatients with COVID-19.
WHO said the group determined that the evidence on whether Ivermectin reduces mortality, the need for mechanical ventilation, hospitalization, and time to clinical improvement in COVID-19 patients, is of “very low certainty”.